- January 22, 2014
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Albuquerque has 30 years before a huge plume from a Kirtland Air Force Base fuel spill would reach the nearest municipal drinking water well, according to preliminary results from a study by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The study also concluded that Albuquerque’s wells could be protected by a pump-and-treat remedy that extracts the contamination from the ground, reported the Albuquerque Journal. “It takes it out of crisis mode,” Tom Blaine of the New Mexico Environment Department said of the new results. The agency previously had estimated the contamination might reach the nearest municipal well in five to seven years, according to the story. The plume stems from a decades-old leak discovered in 1999 from an underground pipe at Kirtland’s aircraft fuel loading facility. The spill is estimated to be up to 24 million gallons.